Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professor

Chika Okeke-Agulu

Chika Okeke-Agulu is Professor of African and African Diaspora Art at Princeton University. His books include Yusuf Grillo: Painting. Lagos. Life (Skira Editore, 2020), Obiora Udechukwu: Line, Image, Text (Skira Editore, 2016); Postcolonial Modernism: Art and Decolonization in Twentieth-Century Nigeria (Duke, 2015); and (with Okwui Enwezor), Contemporary African Art Since 1980 (Damiani, 2010). He is co-editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and maintains the blog Ọfọdunka.  He has co-organized several art exhibitions, including El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale (Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2019), Who Knows Tomorrow (Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2010), 5th Gwangju Biennale (Gwangju, 2004), The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945 1994 (Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, 2001), Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1995), and the Nigerian section at the First Johannesburg Biennale, 1995.

Among Professor Okeke-Agulu’s many awards and prizes are: Honorable Mention, The Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication (triennial) Award (Arts Council of African Studies Association, 2017); The Melville J. Herskovits Prize for the most important scholarly work in African Studies published in English during the preceding year (African Studies Association, 2016); and the  Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism (College Art Association, 2016).
Okeke-Agulu serves on the advisory boards of the Hyundai Tate Research Centre, the Tate Modern, London, and the Center for the Study of Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. He is on the executive board of Princeton in Africa, and the editorial board of African Studies Review.

The Kirk Varnedoe Visiting Professorship brings a distinguished scholar to the Institute each year to teach a course and give a series of public lectures in the area of modern and contemporary art. The Professorship was endowed in 2006 by the late Professor Varnedoe's friends and colleagues to honor and perpetuate his legacy of innovative teaching and remarkable public presence. Past holders of this position include Nina M. Athanassoglou-Kallmyer (2019) Lowery Stokes Sims (2018) Jacqueline Lichtenstein (2016) S. Hollis Clayson (2015) Briony Fer (2014), Thierry de Duve (2013), Okwui Enwezor (2012) Wu Hung (2011), David Joselit (2010), Alexander Potts (2009), Molly Nesbit (2008), and Jeffrey Weiss (2007).

Watch the public lectures of previous Kirk Varnedoe visiting professors.